India first telephony service app—Wings—was unveiled by BSNL, the state-owned telecom firm, on Wednesday. The app allows users to place a call using an internet connection to any phone in India.
While Whatsapp and other internet calling apps are already quite popular in the country, Wings comes with the unique feature of allowing users to call any phone number, from other mobile networks to even landlines.
“In the present competitive environment, the increase in market share by BSNL is laudable. I congratulate the BSNL management for internet telephony which will enable consumers to make calls without a SIM card,” Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said after inaugurating the service.
In a statement, BSNL said, “There are some areas where mobile coverage is not good, which results in poor speech quality, but internet connectivity is available through several means, including Wi-Fi. Using the internet service of any operator, the customer will be able to make and receive calls using the Wings service.”
The government, last month amended norms to allow full-fledged Internet telephone services, which will enable calls from app to app as well as from an app to a telephone number.
The service provider will be required to comply with all interception and monitoring related requirements. The calls will be charged by telecom operators and all rules related to standard calls will apply to them.
With Wings, BSNL is offering unlimited audio and video calling for one year. Customers can activate the service at a one-time charge of Rs 1,099. International calls will be charged in line with the landline tariff, with an additional ISD deposit of Rs 2,000.
Registration for the service will start 15th of July, and the services will be activated from July 25 onwards claims BSNL.
With a wireless subscriber base of 110 million, BSNL’s latest plans are a part of its strategy to beat the competition. Speaking to the New Indian Express, Sinha mentioned that the government is seriously looking to allocate 4G spectrum to the operator.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)